Saudi Arabia: Ostrich on the Loose!


In Saudi Arabia it is pretty typical to have traffic tied up sometime by errant camels which have wandered on to the road.  We’d often have to stop and wait for camels when we drove from Riyadh out to Thamama or on the roadway on the way to Maiden’Saleh.  

It is not typical though to see traffic tied up due to an ostrich on the loose! However during one of trips to Makkah by road from Riyadh, we did make a stop in a small town where one of Abdullah’s friends was from.  As we were gassing up at a gas station to our surprise an ostrich came sauntering around the corner.  Abdullah and I were both out of the car at the time and it never occurred to us to simply get back in the car.  He went one way and I went the other.  Thankfully the ostrich chose to follow him!  Once Abdullah ducked into the small shop connected to the service station the ostrich left him alone.  By that time I was also safely back inside the car.  We never did find out where that particular ostrich came from and what is was doing wandering around on its own.

This past Thursday another ostrich was on the loose in Abha.  The reaction of the loose ostrich was caught on video.

Personally, I’d rather face a loose camel any day than a loose ostrich.  How about you?


8 Responses

  1. Well, let’s review a few things known about each animal.
    The camel is known to, on occasion, bowl someone over in a dominance display.
    The camel is WELL known to spit on someone, typically at their face, with rather sticky and nasty mucusy (word or not, I’ll go with it) saliva.
    The camel is also known to bite.
    That’s really about it for camels, other than the annoying habit of going into the front seat of a car and killing anyone in said front seats in a traffic collision with them.
    Now, the ostrich is well known for biting.
    The ostrich is also well known for quite literally (or REALLY close to it), kicking a man’s head off.

    I’ll stick with the camels.
    Though, BOTH are extremely tasty!

  2. So good to collect stories like this: one of the main points of life, I think. 🙂

  3. I adore camels almost as much as I love cats! It should be against the law to eat the meat of such a sweet and loyal critter….YES, camels can be very loyal.

  4. Funny thing – I’m trying to watch this video from Saudi – only to be told it’s not available for viewing from my area.

  5. Funny thing – I’m trying to watch this video from Saudi – only to be told it’s not available for viewing from my area.

    Hmmm. Thought both camel and ostrich were halal :)-

  6. Hornest Abe:
    You misunderstood what Jknowl said!! hahaha. It seems your brain cells tend to circulate around unhalal stuff more often.


    Here is the original video:

  7. I actually roped one of those things as it was in traffic and got it into the back of my open bed truck and it ended up dying anyway. Apparently they don’t take to well to stress.

  8. bigstick, that is WEIRD! I’ve watched many, many camels ride in the back of a pickup truck with no ill effects. Some even with goats or sheep for the ride and it was a small pickup truck!
    Perhaps it was injured previously or suffering some other illness before, which caused it to “park itself” in traffic in its confusion.

    The first camel *I* met was in its pen, before the owner could show me his pride and joy, the dominant camel charged me. When I failed to give ground or flinch, it halted its charge. Even today, I’m unsure if it stopped due to bluff called, my looking at its legs and figuring how to tangle them with my body if we came into conflict or something else.
    But then, I rather DO get along with animals far better than I get along with people.

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